Independent Living is a housing arrangement meant for seniors ages 55 and over. It provides older adults with a comfortable homelike environment designed to keep them healthy, socially active, and safe. Independent living communities are suitable for active and independent seniors who do not need full time assistance with activities of daily living and do not want to worry about the stress and upkeep of a home.
Independent living communities offer many services including social activities, transportation services, community involvement and a wide range of lifestyle options.
Difference Between Independent Living and Other Senior Housing Options
The main difference between independent living and other types of senior housing communities is the level of care and assistance offered to residents. Independent living facilities are the least restrictive, supervised, or regulated types of senior housing. Residents of Independent Living communities are generally healthy.
Types of Independent Living Communities
Independent living communities vary from apartment style living, freestanding homes, small communities, and larger communities. Here are the four different types of independent living communities:
- Subsidized Senior Housing – Independent living complexes that are meant for low-income seniors and are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Senior Apartments – Apartment complexes restricted by age, usually around 55 and over. Senior apartments may include community services such as recreational programs, transportation services, and meals in a communal dining room.
- Retirement Communities – Groups of housing units for seniors ages 55 and over.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities – Offer service and housing packages that allow access to independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities in one community.
Other terms for independent living include: retirement communities, retirement homes, senior housing, and senior apartments.
Things To Consider When Searching for Independent Living Communities
When searching for the right independent living community, there are many things to consider. One main aspect to look at is the residents and staff of the community. If the residents and staff consist of people you would like to know better, then this could be a good fit for you. Personal preference goes into what size and location of the community you would prefer individually. Another thing to consider is how accessible the community is inside and outside to its residents. Lastly, one should always consider the community resources and support they provide to residents.
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